Family finances: July 2020 issue
We asked a local financial advisor for his take on what you can do to take control of your financial life during tough times
by Jeana Durst, content director, JBMC Media
with R. Bryant Moore, ChFC®, CLU®, Ashford Advisors, Birmingham Office
Whether he is helping his clients achieve the goals they have for their lives or giving back to his local community, Bryant Moore invests in the relationships he has to help people work toward achieving their best.
Bryant focuses on the professionals in the dental and medical community as well as serving successful executives and entrepreneurs. His strength lies in simplifying the process for clients, educating them on important financial topics while skillfully managing the moving parts of each client’s financial picture. Once his clients are educated and organized, Bryant helps them implement strategies that can help them toward achieving their financial goals, recognizing that the decisions his clients make today may have a direct impact on their financial future.
Bryant and his brother, Blake, both decided to follow in the footsteps of their father, William R. Moore, CLU®, who has more than 40 years of experience in the industry and provided an example for the type of person Bryant wants to be for his family. Born and raised in LaGrange, Georgia, Bryant and his wife Stacy currently reside in Vestavia Hills and are the proud parents of Harris and Julia. They are involved members of Briarwood Presbyterian Church where Bryant serves as a Deacon. Find out more about Bryant at www.ashfordadvisors.net/team/r-bryant-moore-chfc-clu.
1. What is the message you’d like families to know about your general philosophy of sound financial management?
I’d like for them to understand that their income, from working, is their most precious financial resource. Without it, they cannot pay bills, educate their children, afford a vacation, or save for retirement. Their cash flow determines how life unfolds. And at some point, either by a voluntary or involuntary event, their cash flow from working will stop. It is imperative to mitigate the financial consequences of an end to cash flow. Then focus on saving and investing.
2. What are the biggest financial lessons to be learned from the pandemic?
Don’t panic; rather, act with equanimity. And that’s the key word—act, but not based out of fear. Take control of your financial picture, using a methodology grounded in math and science, with professional guidance. Prepare your finances for the next threat—there will be another threat to your cash flow; I just don’t know when it will occur. Develop an action plan with your financial professional and communicate that plan with your spouse and those closest to you.
3. Assuming that the pandemic caught some families unprepared to weather a loss of cash flow, what are some basic principles they should follow as they try to rebuild?
Develop a hierarchy of cash flow in the event you have a stoppage of income. If all the money you have saved is in your retirement plan at work, but you need money to address short-term concerns like a mortgage payment or new tires, it may be more advantageous to have cash reserves to address those needs, instead of using money with potential tax consequences and fees. Developing and sustaining a level of Financial Balance® is key. Meet with a financial professional if you aren’t sure where to start.
4. What are some of the most common financial mistakes you see families make during times of economic downturn such as this?
I see some people focusing on variables that they cannot control, rather than those aspects they can control. Focus on developing a healthy saving habit and living below your means. Reaffirm your investment policy statement with your financial professional, rather than reacting to speculation. Take an active approach to your financial future, instead of passively ignoring necessary action. That could mean starting to save if you’ve never developed the habit. It could mean updating your estate planning documents or drafting a healthcare directive. It could mean verifying if your insurance benefits are sufficient or taking the steps necessary to update coverage.
5. What are some of the most important lessons families can teach their children about financial literacy?
Discussing finances is a difficult subject if you don’t regularly practice the communication—whether that is with your spouse or with your children. I believe financial literacy can be developed, to some degree, at all ages. It is important to actively involve your children in everyday financial tasks. Allow them to observe interactions and communicate what they see. Occasionally, my son takes my wife out for “mommy/son date night.” He has a wallet with some money I give him, and he is proud to pay the bill. At the end of the night, we discuss how much is left over and try to show him how to be disciplined with the remainder. Our daughter is two, and we play “grocery store” where we use money to buy items. She runs the cash register, but I rarely get any change back.
Registered Representative and Financial Advisor of Park Avenue Securities, LLC (PAS). OSJ: 900 Ashwood Pkwy, Ste 400, Atlanta, GA 30338. (770) 390-2600. Securities products and advisory services offered through PAS, member FINRA, SIPC. Financial Representative of The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America® (Guardian), New York, NY. Park Avenue Securities is a wholly owned subsidiary of Guardian. Ashford Advisors is not an affiliate or subsidiary of PAS or Guardian. Ashford Advisors is not registered in any state or with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission as a Registered Investment Advisor. 2020-103015, exp. 06/22.